National Cancer Prevention Awareness Week | What psychological changes do cancer patients have?

April 15 to 21, 2022 is the 28th National Cancer Prevention Awareness Week. The theme of this year’s awareness week is “Early Action for Cancer Prevention and Control”, which aims to actively advocate everyone Be the first responsible person for your own health, correctly understand cancer, actively prevent and control cancer, establish the concept of tertiary cancer prevention, practice a healthy and civilized lifestyle, take the initiative to participate in cancer prevention health examinations, and achieve early prevention, early detection, and early diagnosis , early treatment, reduce cancer morbidity and mortality, improve cancer early diagnosis rate and survival rate, effectively curb the harm of cancer, and improve the health of the people.

Cancer patients experience huge psychological changes and show some negative emotions such as pessimism, depression, panic, and resistance during the process of diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation or end-of-life care. After the patient learns of his condition, what should the companion do?

When patients learn about their condition, they usually go through the following six stages. Each stage has different characteristics, and their companions need to focus on their own.

First, the experience period: characteristics – shock

Most cancer patients are diagnosed when they first learn the results Afterwards, you will be shocked, suddenly overwhelmed and even faint. This shock, also known as “diagnostic shock,” presents with hypoglycemia-like symptoms and a feeling that the brain goes blank.

[What should family members do? ]Keywords—soothing

Carers need to express emotional comfort and concern to patients to ensure long-term companionship, Maintain proper physical contact. Such as gently holding the patient’s hand or hugging the shoulder, etc., this can make the patient feel safe and make them realize that they are not alone in the face of misfortune.

Second, Suspicion Period: Characteristics – Denial

Patients at this time want to confirm the results and want to hear to a diagnosis that is not cancer. This kind of denial cannot simply be evaluated as a negative psychological state, because this refusal to accept the fact is a normal stress and protective response when people face trauma or shock, which can reduce fear and relieve pain to a certain extent , enter a transition period of accepting and adapting to change.

[What should family members do? ]Keywords—step-by-step

Family caregivers should not rush the patient to accept reality, which will expose them to greater blow. According to the patient’s character and receptive ability, gradually make it understand and accept the truth.

Often, you can start by telling the patient that the disease is not incurable, that cancer cure rates are increasing year by year, and that you are prepared for treatment, including Life adjustment and medical insurance, etc.; allow patients to express their feelings and thoughts as much as possible, and negotiate their final treatment plan.

During the persuasion process, the patient should always feelBe the master yourself, maintain the patient’s self-esteem, meet psychological and therapeutic needs, and provide the mental strength to support the patient.

Third, the fear period: characteristics—behavioral and physiological responses

When the patient strongly denies and cannot Fears, including fear of illness, fear of pain, changes in social relationships (away from family or friends), and fear of death, develop when the diagnosis is changed. Patients will exhibit behaviors such as panic, crying, vigilance, impulsiveness, and anger, and produce a series of physiological changes such as tremors, frequent urination, urgency, increased blood pressure, shortness of breath, pale skin, and sweating.

[What should family members do? ]Keywords—solving the root cause

First of all, let the patient express the process or reason for his fear, understand the patient What they are worried or afraid of;

Secondly, caregivers should try their best to understand the relevant knowledge and treatment methods of this type of cancer, and correct the patient’s exaggerated or wrong perception;

Again, find like-minded patients or family members and share their experiences to increase patient safety and trust in healthcare workers.

Four. Fantasy Period: Characteristics—Expecting Miracles

When the patient experiences the symptoms of cancer After the painful experience, I can gradually accept the reality, but the fantasy appears. For example, hope for miracles, hope that the advent of a new drug can cure one’s own disease, or hope that experts can develop new methods to cure cancer, etc.

[What should family members do? ]Keywords—accommodating emotions

In most cases, this fantasy is not a bad thing. This can be a positive emotion, and the patient is eager to survive rather than give up treatment. Caregivers can adapt to the patient’s emotions to support the fight against illness, boost confidence, improve coping skills, and reduce panic. Let patients understand that the possibility of miracles increases after each step of treatment.

V. Despair Period: Characteristics—Resistance

When various methods of treatment fail to achieve Good treatment effect, when the condition further deteriorates or severe complications and unbearable pain occur, the patient will lose confidence in the treatment at this time, and will not listen to the persuasion of medical staff, family members or friends, and show irritability, provocation, and disobedience. , Not following doctor’s orders, etc.

[What should family members do? ]Keywords – Patience

It’s a tough time, you don’t know how it will turn out, you just feel and not optimistic. Patients need to vent their emotions at this time. When the patient is angry, do not rush to control, but should give a certain space to let them get psychological release or satisfaction. Caregivers need to be patient enough to wait for themselves to stop, acknowledge the pain and offer comfort.

Six. Quiet period: characteristic – indifference

The patient has accepted the reality and showed emotional stability Obey, cooperate with treatment, and have no fear of death. But this is only a positive aspect; on the other hand, patients are in a passive coping state, indifferent, no longer consider their obligations to family and society, focus on their symptoms, and feel helpless and numb.

[What should family members do? ]Keywords—accompanying

Carers should maintain close companionship with the patient, and understand and meet some of the patient’s inherent needs. Caregivers should also pay attention to distinguish the symptoms of apathy and depression, and avoid the appearance and exacerbation of depression leading to some extreme behaviors. Pay attention to relevant information and provide patients with hopeful information, and share decision-making and tolerance with patients.

Most cancer patients experience these psychological changes, but there are also differences in psychological changes among people with different psychological characteristics, and the duration, order of appearance, or degree of response of each stage is also different.

The main responsibility of medical staff lies in the treatment and rehabilitation of diseases, and family caregivers play a key role in the psychological counseling of patients, helping patients to relieve pain and accept the disease smoothly treat.

Let’sLet’s all take action, “take early action for cancer prevention and control”, be the first responsible person for your own health, correctly understand cancer, actively prevent and control cancer, establish the concept of three-level cancer prevention, practice a healthy and civilized lifestyle, and take the initiative to participate in cancer prevention health checks To achieve early prevention, early detection, early diagnosis and early treatment, reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer, improve the early diagnosis rate and survival rate of cancer, effectively curb the harm of cancer, and improve the health level.

[Expert in this issue]

< /img>

Wang Huiqiu, Director of Shenyang Anning Hospital Mental Rehabilitation Center, Executive Director of Shenyang Mental Mental Rehabilitation Clinical Medical Research Center Deputy Director, Head of the Shenyang Psychological Counseling Hotline 024-89606699 Studio, Chief Physician, Professor, National Psychotherapist. Member of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Committee of the Psychiatry Branch of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, member of the Psychopsychology Group of the Sleep Professional Committee, member of the Geriatric Mental Health Professional Committee of the Chinese Mental Health Association, standing member of the Psychological Branch of the Chinese Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, and Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine Deputy Director of the Social Psychological Operational Group, Deputy Head of the Psychological Rehabilitation Science Group of China Medical Education Association, Member of the Psychiatry Branch of the Liaoning Medical Association, Executive Director of the Provincial Mental Health Association, Executive Director of the Provincial Psychological Counselor Association, Provincial Psychological Counselor The first deputy director of the Youth Mental Health Professional Committee of the Industry Association, the vice chairman of Shenyang Jingxing Association, etc. He has been engaged in psychiatry clinical work for 34 years. He is good at preventing, diagnosing, treating and recovering various mental and psychological disorders with the concept of “big rehabilitation and big health”. Problem consultation and treatment.